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Analyzing Various Approaches to Self-Managed Learning and Lifelong Learning

Task 1

A. Analyse and discuss the various approaches to self-managed learning and lifelong learning in relation to your own experience.

B. Assess the benefits of self-managed learning to you and your  organisation.

Task 2

A. Carry out an audit of your personal skills and competencies using theformat and assess the skills needed to work professionally in an  organizational setting.

B. Analyse your personal SWOT factors and devise a personal andprofessional development plan with specific career developmentobjectives.

Task 3

A. Critically examine how you would proceed to implement your personal and professional development plan by making reference to the process and key activities to be carried out.

B. Critically evaluate the process of reflecting on the achievement against expected aims and objectives and discuss how you would review the plan based on the outcomes.

Task 4

A. Investigate and analyse one work-based problem in your work environment and suggest/recommend solutions using appropriate communication methods and styles at different level.

B. Critically examine the application of effective time management approaches in various situations in your own context.

This paper intends to provide information in relation to organisation, management and practising different approaches of self-managed learning, in order, to improve performance as self directed learners. This information would help in the preparation of meeting personal and professional goals. The paper analyses and discusses a range of self-management approaches and lifelong learning with regard to my personal experience, and addresses the benefits of self-managed learning process. Further, SWOT analysis will highlight my personal skills and competencies to work competently in an organisation setting. Personal development plan with particular career objectives is also provided in the paper. Last but not least, one specific work-related problem has been addressed with the solution of the problem, together with effective time management strategies.

Self-managed learning enhances learning and discovering of new things by learners at their own pace (Boud, 2013, p.10). The autonomy imparted to people is very high in self-reflective learning. It allows them to set objectives where individual learning and development is concerned. This enables learners to judge methodologies and outputs of a learning program (Figure 1). Self-managed or self directed learning is an approach where individual learners discover a number of different ways to learn new things. This could be in the society people are living or at workplace that represents a diversified setting. Self-managed learning is a process that set goals and objectives for the learning and evaluates the purpose for learning (Figure 1). People can learn new things from cultures of different people, actions or personality. Learners are not bound to obtain knowledge from the classrooms; rather they can learn at their own pace and gain knowledge of new things from a variety of sources such as internet, social networking sites and peer groups. Self-managed learning provides people with an opportunity to devise their strategy of learning and ways to discover new knowledge. This would help in the long term retention of the information and help them to face future challenges relating to professional sphere of life (Graves, 2013, p.12).

Benefits of Self-Managed Learning to Individuals and Organizations

Figure 1: Self-managed Learning.

Figure 1: Self-managed Learning.

Source: Graves (2013)

Learners can learn and discover new information from the research studies that can be either issued by the learning institute or even by organisations where they are employed (Pedler, 2011, p.23). This helps them to analyse the current environment of UK and relating facts to the subject. Following are some approaches of self-managed learning.

Attending Training Sessions and Business Conferences: Individuals from different arena come together in business seminars and shares their real life experiences and explains how these experiences influenced their professional development (Pedler, 2011, p.22). Being a part of these sessions helps in gaining a fresh insight and knowledge on various subjects including business cases. This in turn helps a learner to have knowledge on how business issues can be attended to and solved with minimal effort in the business world.

Training and business conferences will also boost my confidence when it comes to public speaking, communication and presentations skills that are crucial for career development in business. This for me is a wealth of knowledge, presented by many speakers in one place at a time. The disadvantage are cancellations – If I use public scheduled courses there is a risk that the course can be cancelled. Normally this is because I have low attendance. One of the major challenges in seminars is sharing of incorrect information by the speakers. Seminars will not be effective if the speakers are not knowledgeable and may impart wrong information to inexperienced listeners, thereby reducing the final outcome of seminars.

Social Media: I join online groups of professional bodies on social media to draw information of famous people and their business experiences. Furthermore, I will read online business articles and annual reports of different firms to get idea about the business operations and functions.

The advantages are great number of people, as it is easy way to say something to somebody. However the disadvantages then  it is just a virtual space, nothing can  be replace with real communication, exchange of information and emotions, ideas, face- to- face.

Research Work: Research works and refereed journals are available across the educational sectors and helps in updating ones knowledge as they publish authentic, updated and reliable information that can be applied to different organisational settings.

Lifelong learning is the constant, voluntary and self-motivated pursuit of information for either individual or occupational rationales. This, it not just improves societal inclusion, proactive citizenship and employability, but also self sustainability together with competitiveness (Bunderson & Boumgarden, 2010, p.609). The process relates with ongoing knowledge acquisition that can contribute to the specialised framework. This brings in personal and professional development. People can have personal evaluation as a means to support the process of lifelong learning. The advantages are that it provide me in depth informations about work, allows description of behavior as it occurs in the natural environment, researchers have  a good control and direction of the study without much limitation. The disadvantages are  method cannot be verified objectively the nature of the data does not allow use of statistical analysis. Time consuming and requires a lot of labor.

Personal Skills and Competencies Audit

Continued Professional Growth: An approach of this nature encourages combination of various learning modalities and ideas to boost learning and development in a continuous manner. I can enhance my professional growth by taking feedback and changing according to it.

The advantages are that it help me to get what I want of course if I am interested to go further to achieve my desired goal. The disadvantage is to do the work and finally someone come to say that does not meet the necessary requirements. 

Self - Reflective Learning Approach: Self-reflective learning is an innovative critical approach that reviews feedback. The learners are therefore empowered to review the procedures they undertake for performing various tasks, there by taking responsibility for their own actions. The major advantage of this approach is that, it will help me to develop and improve new competencies simultaneously working on my personal skills, while fulfilling responsibilities on job. The disadvantage  is that I can learn wrong if a do not consult a teacher or a specialist.

Online Learning: Learning can also be enhanced through newspapers, seminars, web articles and peer groups (Bourner, 2011, p.117). Self- learning can be considered a platform that will provide its learners with an opportunity to formulate a strategy for successful completion of a task. Online learning will act as a helpful tool to overcome challenges because of enhancements in technology and is especially useful in long term. Self-managed learning approach cannot be ignored because of the fast pace of the organisational and technical advancements, and online learning makes a way for learners to excel in their profession. The advantages are effective because I can finish my homework quickly and is more time for finding a job or have a rest. The people have the chance to study in their own time and especially for free. The disadvantages are online learning cannot offer human interaction. Competition between colleagues can be very stimulating and students will only benefit from it. Online learning can be difficult for that disciplines that involve practice.

Self-managed learning is all about individuals undertaking initiatives within their own pace while evaluating their learning and development goals. Self-managed learning benefits both the organisation and the learner. Self-managed learning explain the correlation between the personal success of a person to that to team success and business success (Figure 2). The following figure associates the influence of self-managed learning on organisation and the individual.

Figure 2: Influence of Self-managed Learning (individual and organisation).

Source: (Bourner, 2011)

Individuals get easily involved in self-directed learning process. Hence they can self-manage the training activity based upon their own evaluation of the assignments required for the work and taking part in the learning course to close the gap between existing and desired set of skills. Individuals become able to generate their personal and professional development, which highlights particular work-related competencies, different as compared to more general human resource skills. Further, they become able to evaluate themselves against the future work requirements, creating a career growth path for the employment they seek. Following are additional benefits that linked with the self-managed learning process. Team work is an important part of educational curriculum now. This helps the learners to have first-hand experience on team work that is of utmost importance in any given workplace. Presentations, that are also a part of the curriculum in universities and colleges provides students with an opportunity to share and gain knowledge and boosts their confidence in public speaking as well as communication skills. This in turn benefits organisation as their new employees are already trained and present oral and written reports to the managers (Boud, 2013, p.12). Self-managed learning also helps in the development of the social and communication skills relevant to an organisational atmosphere. Synergy and determination to succeed will also be higher in followers of self-managed learning. Organisation is benefitted here as it provides a platform for knowledge sharing and innovative thinking.

SWOT Analysis for Personal and Professional Development Plan

Most significantly, the process of self-managed learning is employee-focused; however it offers ample gains to the whole organisation. Self-managed learning helps managers in effective decision making process by referring to business cases made available through academic learning, research, seminars and professional experiences. Information is made accessible to managers through self-managed training and allows them to be aware of ethical issues that are bound to occur, thus preventing the organisation from both public and ethical issues. Application of theories and knowledge in real organisational settings is enhanced through self-managed learning unlike theoretical knowledge. Business organisations value such talents who do not compromise on their individual commitments and are simultaneously swift and receptive to various tasks allotted to them. Self-managed learning tools will helps learners to attain these qualities by not losing their focus from organisational goals (Bunderson & Boumgarden, 2010, p. 620).

In my organisation, self-managed learning provides managers with the capability to provide coaching services to employees with a definite action plan, assign then task as per their abilities and have informational-based discussions in relation to perceptual differences. Further more leaders can determine what kind of organisational strategy should be pursued based upon worker’s existing strengths or weaknesses or how the management may seek to change the strategic approach. Self-managed learning is also a functional tool that provides executives with the skill to align learning goals with the organisational objectives, develop information-driven growth and action plans, and radically change the employees’ requirements according to the changing trend of technical sphere (Jackson, n.d, p. 2).

A skill audit is the review or comparison of an individual’s existing skills with the skills that are required (Pasteur, 2010, p.2). It helps to identify keys skills and how can a person fill the gap to achieve the desired skills (Business Essentials, 2013, n.d.).

Table 1.




Low                   High



Structure and format of letters, memos, e-mails, reports. Structure and format: techniques for effective presentations; using the telephone; meetings.

    1      2      3      4     5

In all my writing courses I have always received a satisfactory grade. I have given presentations in class and coursework and always felt nervous when it comes to big audience. Although I have always received a positive feedback regarding my performance from supervisors as well as colleagues.

Personal & Interpersonal

Relating to others; building rapport and positive relationships; being sensitive to people needs; using influencing and persuasive skills to help others improve performance or overcome problems; listening effectively and providing feedback; being assertive; use of body language.

   1      2      3      4     5

It is my nature to make a ‘to-do’ list for every day. I organise my things and work and allocate specific amount of time for each task to manage them effectively.

Technical Skills

Selecting suitable solutions; analysis of appropriateness.

   1      2      3      4     5

I have the basic the technical knowledge as well as advance which includes how to evaluate things at the construction site. I prefer to take advice from superiors as a precaution.

Table 2. Competency.




Low                   High


Building team

Training; estimates of employees and productivity; the disciplinary.

1      2      3      4     5

Most of the time I, choosing my own team, segregate workforce in regards with their experience and support them with training.


Listening and organizations; clarity of communication; to receive objective information.

1      2      3      4     5

I have a good attention on details. I can get from my superiors the required information and deliver it to my group to the best way.


Definition of a problem and decision; it is clear to think analytically.

1      2      3      4     5

I can identify a problem but sometimes I find the solution with the help from my experienced colleagues and learn from this.

The KKB Group has been offering professional services to sustain the construction and renewal sectors for around ten years. This organisation targets on effective fulfilment of their already set SMART objectives by their employees. This target achievement requires evaluation of their employees to ensure that they possess the required talent pool. Some of the major qualities that these organisations look forward to includes time management, stress management, communication and leadership skills, interpersonal and strong presentation skills along with their potential to perform in a team (Cottrell; 2010, p.14). These skills can have a direct positive or negative influence on organisational goals. On comparing the required skills to my current skill set, I have communication skills along with outstanding technical skills, reliability, and timeliness. I also work well with different groups and perform in a team. I am social and is open to learning which all qualities that employers look forward are. My business skills should be improved to develop a career in retail industry (preferred industry)

SWOT Analysis: At present, I am a 360 excavator and tele-handler driver in Construction Company of UK. I also perform supervisory role in my job. Considering myself, my strength includes good interpersonal skills, outgoing nature and open to learning. My weaknesses are that I tend to get distracted when I do repetitive work and I fail to perform when under extreme stress.  I have an opportunity to develop a career in business management and learning new concepts and theories over time. Further, I am looking forward to learn more about technical skills as per my job demands.

Table 3 my SWOT Analysis.
StrengthsGood interpersonal skills among other staff members.Gain experience within desired career filed.Devoted to active learning process.Ability to handle stressful situations.Able to understand and value the beliefs, norms, cultural values, customs, standards and viewpoints of others.Patient WeaknessesGet distracted with repetitive tasks and similar kind of learning activities.Unable to manage tasks in stressful situations.IT skills.Communications.Ignorant.Naïve
OpportunitiesWant to explore new things over time regarding construction business.Develop career in construction management field as a project manager.To learn more about technical skills as per my job demands.Technology ThreatsFinancial issues.Recession across the country.Loss of jobs due to over qualifications.Competition with colleagues.

Table 4. Personal and Professional Development Plan.






February 2015


February 2016

What do I want/need to learn?

What will I do to achieve this?

What resources or support will I need?

What will my success criteria be?

Target dates for review and completion

Leadership Skills.




Opportunity of volunteer to lead in group project.

My high level of confidence.

Become a confident leader.

Resistance to stress.

1 year

Technical skills.








I am seeking to have career in the construction industry.

1 year

Speaking Skills.



Speaking practice.


As much conversation during work programme with many experienced people.


To become a good presenter in my group.

1 year

Training is the procedure to ensure the growth of professional skills through qualification, training and specialization for people who is looking for a new job, in order to achieve mobility and (re) integrate them on the labor market. The advantages are helps me to gain recognized qualifications - NVQs key skills and a technical certificate, participating in such courses help me to have greater confidence in their actions and to increase their professional efficiency. The disadvantage are go to training courses it may take longer to get there with some things learned from my practice, changes of information what I learn today will probably change next month or next week.

Implementing Personal and Professional Development Plan

Conferences is a meeting of two or more persons for discussing matters of common concern.

 The advantages conferences, first is the availability of specialized equipment in conference place. Projectors, widescreen TV, sound systems and lightning are a few to mention, which would boost the image of your proposed or product launch. The disadvantage is not enough time to discuss the issue for this reason the company seeks to limit the amount of time to spend at conferences.

Observation is a statement when you see something good or bad and make a notice. The advantage is that by the method of observation  the investigator come and get the real pictures of the behaviors as they manifest in natural settings. The disadvantage is that in many cases, the observer must wait until the event takes place properly, some types of observations are time consuming and no results.

Speaking practice will help me to memorise the new words used in conversation, increase the level of English language, the more I talking the more freely speak without mistakes. However the disadvantage in my speaking practice is that I rush when I talk and sometimes I say wrong word automatically, I am worry when talking I feel like my English is not good enough.

My goal is to become a good manager and can manage a site, because I am seeking to have a career in the construction industry. I value education and hence hope to continue my education in top notch business school, so that I could specialise in business administration. I will also take necessary training in business studies to raise up to organisational requirements, also enhancing my personal and professional qualities. I also look forward to completing my Masters in Business Administration, which will help me to gain an insight to excel in the business field.

Work with project managers to learn about managing rotational tasks. Get myself enrolled in the training programs. I want to obtain a new performances in activity, Improving provided services. Because in the future I want to become manager, I need to participate in conferences which helps me to speak much better and experience to speak with the staff. Frequenting conferences can learn many things from my collegues. From time to time I will go to sessions with high hopes to meeting my expectation. Another reason to attend the conference is the network that I can know and meet new people working in the same industry. There is an incredible amount of sharing and learning new information. I want to help others and share my knowledge with others.

Observation means to know, to examine an object, a process to make findings and remarks about what I see. The observation helps me to obtain information necessary for solving decision problems. Information obtained through observation can be used separately or can be correlated with information generated by other methods.

The speed of information collected helps me to get certain types of information in a shorter notice than by asking questions to the subject. Like manager at work and I do not like to do observations about the work, I do not mind if anyone make me an observation.

About speaking practice I want to improve a bit more, I will take online courses of speaking and reading as well, I read books news papers I can see a bit better, listen to others when they speak and memorize the words. Speaking will enrich me the personal and professional life. Public speaking for me is success indicating critical thinking skills, leadership and professionalism. Speaking practice will help me to improve my communication skills. Most employees suffer from workplace stress that takes a toll on their personal and professional life. It has an adverse impact on health, work performance and balance of life. Hence it is essential to address this problem in an effective way to negate the ill effects of stress in an employee’s life. Negative impact of stress are many including absenteeism, lack of timeliness, lack of responsibility, and increasing employee turnover in a company. Stress is often caused by factors including having too many superiors to be answerable to at the same time, multi-tasking forced on employees, work overload, fear, haste and fatigue. HR manager carry out different measures to minimise stress in an organisation (Wolever et al., 2012, p. 246).

Reflecting on Achievement against Expected Aims and Objectives

At strategic level, managers try to encourage communication among employees to ensure that there is no role conflict. This help employees to have a clear perspective on what is required out of them. Clear communication using symbols by managers will also ensure that there is no misalignment of roles undertaken by the employees. At tactical level only SMART objectives should be set by the company. Constant provision of feedback and review of performance will make employees evaluate and improve their own performance. In operational level there should be more empowerment of employees through decentralisation and independence, challenging targets at work and also constructive criticism.

One solution to combat the stress is humor –  laughter is very healthy for both individuals and business. Other solution sufficient rest. Trying some new ways of thinking. When there are worries, thoughts, they should be removed. If something cannot be resolved, regardless of solution try not have insisted will be counted another activity, and later, if required, can return to that issue. Everyone must learn to say "No".

Learning skills can be developed through joining different self-management learning programs where people come together to plan and plot details in relation to personal and professional development (Sarabdeen, 2013, p.1). Learning groups guides its participants by offering cost effective as well as a distinctive strategy to solve issues and plot a development path in professional life and resolve major issues. Very often problem development skills are developed by facing and resolving problems. Following are the strategies for effective time management

Aligning priorities: This strategy sets priorities for completion of different tasks, thereby helping employees to distinct between what task is more important at a given time and which one is not.However disadvantage is sometimes I am in a hurry or when I am not careful I can give priority to things that were not important and that is my big mistake inattention.

Making use of a planning tool: planning tools like electronic planners or even a pocket diary helps in effective time management, as a result to which productivity can be improved efficiently. Making a list of tasks will help in focussing on current priorities and achieving them.The disadvantage is that sometimes planning tool cannot be met, because the work did not go according to the plan, some work may be late and already plan failed.

Get Organised:when a person is organised, it makes it easier to fall into a routine where tasks can be completed on time without stress and confusion. I consider myself an organised person. I plan everything in my life  I start with morning routine and ending with tasks before I go to bed. The disadvantage is if something does not happened according to the plan, this is a disaster.

Eliminate the Unnecessary: This becomes true every day more and more. The advantage it helps me to concentrate on the main things that cannot be done later. The disadvantage is if I remove the unnecessary item from the job it take me time to do it  and have less time to finish the job.

Reduce Interruptions: If I am working on something important and one of my employees comes to me with something that I know can be do it  later time I will help him later. On the other hand, if my boss calls me when I am in the middle of something, well, that is an interruption that is worth making a priority. The advantage are if I reduce the interruption the job can be done quicker than was planned. The disadvantage it is a risk to get sick from fatigue, depending what job you doing can happen an accident if interruptions is reduced.

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